High school senior athletes say cancelled or delayed sports could jeopardize scholarships, offers

While school districts scramble to finalize fall semester plans, rising seniors are looking at possibly missing out on their last year of sports.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has pushed fall sports to September 1, following the latest COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations.

For Cumberland County Schools, they've delayed extra-curricular activities indefinitely.

RELATED: Superintendent calls for virtual only start to school year in Cumberland County

Tanner Bledsoe, an upcoming senior and baseball player at Grays Creek High School, has been keeping busy with travel baseball this summer; however, he's dealt with restrictions, only being allowed to play in Fayetteville. This means he's losing out on exposure to university scouts.

"That's pretty much what our whole baseball season is supposed to be, playing in front of college coaches and all that, and we can't do any of that," Bledsoe.

On top of that, Bledsoe knows his chances at scholarships and recruitment also lie in the hands of spring baseball at his high school.

Although the season is not canceled, the current fall delay means he, along with his teammates, won't be able to train and condition themselves.

"We strengthen all, all fall. And when the winter comes, we still do our weight lifting, and, but, we start going before school in the mornings, at the gym," Bledsoe added.
This means they won't be in tip-top shape, something his teammate, Jackson Nance, knows is important during your last year of high school. He, like Bledsoe, has played baseball most of his life.

"That's what most people look at, you know, it's your final year of high school, and you look and see how much progress you've made," Nance said.

Nance tells ABC11 that some of his fellow students are getting creative, posting their highlight reels on social media to get some university attention.

"The running back for our school. He's gotten a lot of offers. And he's been, uh, he's been posting on social media about, 'this is what I can do,'" Nance added.

While both men are not looking to pursue a future in baseball, they understand how important this can mean for other student-athletes at their school and statewide.

"I mean, it's upsetting, and it's something we can't control, but that's heartbreaking," Nance said.

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